What Do I Know?
What if I am wrong? I have spent the last 16 months attending Fishers Island Waste Management (FIWMD) meetings out of concerns arising from their $4.2 million proposed facility upgrade. I have opposed, criticized, and offer alternatives. It has been a frustrating and emotionally draining experience that has forced me to consider some other things.
What do I know? I know the Board is well-intentioned, talented, and convinced of the appropriateness of their plan. I also know that they are increasingly besieged by unexpected and complex regulations, that these often disregard local characteristics and considerations, and that the Board confronts difficult choices trying to balance the demands of one against the preservation of the other. It cannot be easy.
It is easy to be critical, harder to be constructive. I am learning, albeit slowly, that the Fishers Island I cherish and have probably taken for granted is a fragile, complex thing that is facing increasing challenges. I am certain that I am not alone in this concern, and that it is a common ground that we all would like to defend.
What I think I have learned is that if we are to have a chance we need to learn to converse better. Whether it is the ICB or any of the various districts and their elected officials we must broaden the conversation and make sure that all are included. Decisions cannot be made in a vacuum, and there is much to be gained if we are able to draw on the opinions and experiences of all.
I am running for the FIWMD Board of Commissioners. If successful I will try to implement stronger checks and balances, I will try to bring a stronger sense of accountability to all of the various constituents, and mostly, I will try to invite a greater public engagement and welcome all, including dissenting, opinion.
Please vote on December 11.